1

Let's say I have a products page with listing producsts and the page has pagination. I would like the 1st page to have all the SE ranking weight so I decided to put meta noindex on the rest of the paginated pages (from page 2 to N).

My common sense says that if I don't want pages to not get indexed, I shouldn't also pass link/PR juice to these pages. (Is that smart?)

What happens if I set rel="nofollow" for all pagination links from page 2 to page N?

3

It makes a difference. The bots do this:

  • Go to noindex.html. Crawl it, check it, do all the usual checks, get all internal links
  • Don't index this page, because rel="noindex"
  • Repeat for each internal link

As you can see, it still follows all internal links, it just doesnt index no-index.html. This means internal-linked-page.html will get found, crawled and indexed.

If you add nofollow to your noindex.html page, this will happen:

  • Go to noindex.html. Crawl it, check it, do all the usual checks, Don't follow internal links

As for your situation, pagination with rel=“next/prev”. This will indicate same result, page 2.

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